Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Using Check Lists To Get Things Done

Doctors performing surgeries are starting to use check lists to get things done.   If you think about it, since some employees are not very organized, the premise makes sense related to many company functions.   Certainly, in providing any service, it seems logical that there be a check list to make sure that all aspects of the service are performed in logical order.   This is particularly beneficial for less experienced employees and or if the service is very technical in nature.   Also, if there are legal implications related to providing a service, then checking the boxes to make sure every "I" is dotted and every "T" is crossed makes perfect sense.   It also insures that in the event of litigation that there is documentation in place to prove proper implementation.

At the same time, when providing a service and using check lists to do it, care should be taken not to appear robotic.   It would not be good if the customer thinks the service provider is just going through the motions.  Also, sometimes the customer will want service out of order, so to speak and that should be accommodated as long as some critical aspect of the service is not eliminated in the process. 

Using a check list to interview, hire, or terminate an employee is particularly important.   Given the litigious tendency that exists in many countries and various state and country employment practice laws, it is very critical that a check list be used whenever taking any employment action and that all actions be documented.   This is always the basis and defense for dealing with frivolous lawsuits that come up from time to time.

Check lists can be the basis for training that is certain rather than nebulous.   Check lists should be in every training manual for reference.   This CEO Blogger uses check lists, of one sort or another, to deal with all aspects of life.   My annual calendar is in effect a check list that allows me to organize both my business and personal life.   I can now check a box related to this Blog Posting.   I told you so. 

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